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Supervisor: Funds withheld to push school studies

Halifax County Board of Supervisor’s approved the release of the appropriation of the $250,000 request from the school system designated for the school efficiency review and curriculum audit at its Monday night meeting.

ED-1 Supervisor J.T. Davis and ED-6 Supervisor Wayne Conner were absent.

ED-5 Supervisor Doug Bowman explained that the studies were not more than $250,000 but were approximately $125,000 and the board withheld the money to encourage the school board to conduct the studies.

“The reason this board withheld the $250,000 was to encourage the school board to conduct the two studies. The $250,000 was not the cost of the studies it was the amount that we withheld until the studies were conducted,” said Bowman.

In a letter requesting the funds, former Superintendent Paul Stapleton reported the two studies had been completed for the school division, with the efficiency review being conducted by Prismatic Services in March and the curriculum audit being conducted by Southeast Center for Effective Schools in April.

In May, supervisors appropriated $12,656,000 in county funds for the school budget and advised it would consider increasing the appropriation by $250,000 bringing the total school budget’s local funding to $12,906,000.

In other business Monday night supervisors held a public hearing on a request from the Revs. Mattie and Frank Carr to declare a building on the grounds of Halifax Elementary School formerly used as a temporary classroom declared surplus and donated to the Living Word of Christ Fellowship.

Rev. Frank Carr addressed the supervisors assuring them “the building will be put to good use.”

Although he hasn’t acquired an approval of a site yet he said that with the costs of applying it was better to wait and he could place the unit anywhere. 

“The building has been sitting for seven years, in my opinion we should follow through and give four to six months for Mr. Carr to secure a site,” said ED-3 Supervisor William Fitzgerald.

Supervisors approved the resolution donating the building to the Living Word of Christ Fellowship, noting that moving the building includes clearing of the property.

“Go to work Mr. Carr,” said Chairman Tom West.

In other business, supervisors took the following actions:

Heard a presentation from the Community Services Board Executive Director Donald A. Burge and approved the performance contract between the Southside Community Services Board and the State Department of Behavioral Health and Development Services that specifies the responsibilities of the state and local Community Services Board in providing services to the mentally ill, mentally challenged and substance abuse clients in Halifax County and other localities served by the Community Services Board for the next two years;

 Received an update from the county administrator on the proposed agreement with the Halifax County Solid Waste Disposal Authority that will be considered for approval Sept. 4 outlining the specific terms for disposing of the county’s solid waste;

The Board of Supervisors created a separate agency under State Code to provide for the disposal of solid waste within the county, and that authority contracts with the county for the actual day-to-day operations of disposal services including pickup from the convenience sites and green boxes, operation and maintenance of the transfer station and transport of waste to the regional landfill, the county administrator explained. The authority held their first meeting Monday prior to the board meeting electing officers and setting a date for a public hearing on the proposed rates.

Establishing the separate agency for the purpose of disposing of the county’s solid waste is required before fees can be charged for the service, he added.

The county has implemented a $4 per month solid waste disposal fee this year, which requires the establishment of the agency.

 Approved a $39,808 grant award from the Rescue Squad Assistance Fund to implement an Emergency Medical Dispatch Program for the county and provide $4,992 in county funds as a capital match and $4,752 for system maintenance during 2012-13;

 Received an update on Halifax County’s Erosion and Sediment Control Program Review;

 Heard an update regarding the annual facility inspection of the county animal shelter that passed in June with a perfect record of no insufficiencies;

 Set a public hearing for the Sept. 4 board meeting on proposed amendments to the county code that would permit the county to recover costs associated with methamphetamine lab cleanups;

 Set a public hearing Dec. 3, but not to be advertised until after Nov. 6 to consider relocating the Republican Grove precinct polling place from the North Halifax Volunteer Fire Station to the fellowship hall at First Baptist Church of Republican Grove.

 Set a public hearing Sept. 4 on a request from Douglas D. and Melissa E. Bowen for a conditional use permit to locate a country store and creamery at a location at 3070 Howard P. Anderson Road in ED #4;

Finance Director Stephanie Jackson had no report.

 Approved Mike Sexton to serve on the Board of Zoning Appeals, Christine Acheson to serve on the Halifax County Improvement Council and Cliff Somerville for the Board of Equalization.

Two citizens spoke during the citizen comment portion of the meeting including Bernard Mitzler of Nathalie who was concerned if the $48 disposal fee would be charged to empty farm houses he owns and wanted a little more of a clarification on the fee. Jackson explained to Mitzler that the $48 disposal fee would only be charged one per household to personal property bills. Janet Cowden of South Boston spoke about her lack of Internet usage and questioned the board if they would write a letter on her behalf to CenturyLink. After a short discussion Halasz said he would draft a letter from the board.

At the conclusion of Monday night’s meeting, supervisors went into closed session but took no action when they emerged.